Brus

Joined: September 4, 2011  (email not validated)

Number of comments posted: 308

Number of votes received: 157

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Recent Comments

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 24, 2012, 3:45pm  •  0 vote

D.A. Wood makes a most interesting point about the gender of nouns which do not relate to male or female 'things' in English as being not so much neuter as of no gender at all. When compared with all

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 24, 2012, 3:15pm  •  0 vote

'In North American English, "that" is a perfectly-good subordinating conjunction.' So be it. My argument is that it isn't perfectly good over on the eastern side of the Atlantic and it is hugely to

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 24, 2012, 10:58am  •  0 vote

That criticism of spell-checker is well made. These tools are discouraging folk from using proper language, marking good practice as wrong. I think I am coming to the conclusion that this is the reaso

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  May 24, 2012, 10:30am  •  0 vote

Most words in English that have a gender use the gender that comes from French and Latin. "I love driving my Jaguar. She is a car that comes from England." Oh dear. You mean "I love driving my Jag

Re: On Tomorrow  •  May 9, 2012, 7:22am  •  0 vote

To clarify, I mean that 'subordinate' (people) are not, by definition, those who dare take issue with their superiors, so Objective Observer's remarks are a wee bit mysterious.

Re: On Tomorrow  •  May 9, 2012, 7:00am  •  0 vote

"...people that are subordinate to those whom they take issue with." Surely you mean "...people who are subordinate to those with whom they take issue." You are evidently not one who avoids the relati

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  May 9, 2012, 3:12am  •  1 vote

"Who would of thought" ...? "Would of" !!? "Who would have thought he would become ...". Yes, third person. No I, you or we about it. Just he (or she).

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 25, 2012, 10:57am  •  1 vote

Hi there, D A Wood. Now, I think you need a wee rest and a holiday. One can tell: you wrote 'pled' again, when you meant 'pleaded'. Carlsbad is nice at this time of year.

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 24, 2012, 3:13pm  •  0 vote

Yes, DAW. That's what she was implying, was it? Oh dear.

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 24, 2012, 10:24am  •  0 vote

Is that right, D A Wood? Well, at least I have never tried to grab too much power.

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 22, 2012, 4:49am  •  0 vote

Porsche, you suggest "the castaways found a jet pack that the Air Force had lost, washed up on the beach." Well I suggest that the relative pronoun "which", referring to the jet pack, should ideally f

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 20, 2012, 5:36pm  •  1 vote

Aye, D.A., ye're fair going your dinger the nicht, as we say in Scotland. Are you on the malt too?

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  March 20, 2012, 5:25pm  •  0 vote

Horrified to read "the beach that the Air Force had lost." Surely you mean "the beach which the Air Force had lost"? We really don't want to hear how the Air Force could lose a beach.

Re: On Tomorrow  •  March 17, 2012, 4:07am  •  0 vote

Today, tomorrow and yesterday: no preposition. Days of the week: preposition 'on', eg: on Tuesday, on Wednesday, etc. (Americans leave out the 'on', however.) Dates: 'on the' for number

Re: Pronunciation of “Nova Scotia”  •  March 16, 2012, 5:14pm  •  0 vote

I am not quarrelling with Nova (as you say, it is Latin, and I say that is no reason to say "No=wa") but I speak as a Scot when I say that the Scottish version is as I described: Scoh-shia. What you

Re: Correct way to omit words?  •  March 16, 2012, 4:38pm  •  0 vote

If you are criticised for leaving words out in what is a well-known and commonly used expression, owing to its being ungrammatical (eg, lacking a subject or a verb), just say it's ellipsis. "Okay?"

Re: Pronunciation of “Nova Scotia”  •  March 16, 2012, 4:09pm  •  0 vote

Nova Scotia = New Scotland. Old Scots word for Scotland: Scotia. pronounced SCO-sh-ya with a little "grace note" of a "y" or "i" before the final "a". Like Indonesia, where there is a little sound "

Re: The use of “hey” in place of “hello”.  •  March 15, 2012, 6:34pm  •  2 votes

I really like "hey" and "hi" and all those American terms discussed here. In South Africa we used to call "Howzitt?" in a cheery tone of voice, asking "How is it?", making it quite clear that we did

Re: of a  •  March 15, 2012, 5:58pm  •  0 vote

Stand back, Mediator. He's got him on the ropes. How much of a contest is it?!

Re: Nother  •  March 14, 2012, 3:12pm  •  0 vote

Did I say European? I mean exotic - shark's fin is not European. Just picture my embarrassment.

Re: Nother  •  March 14, 2012, 3:08pm  •  3 votes

a whole nother story = a-whole-nother story = another story with the emphatic "whole" placed in the middle of the word. It reminds me of the Londoner landlord of a pub I once knew well who punctuat

Re: of a  •  March 14, 2012, 2:41pm  •  0 vote

Now there's a bit of a thing! Okay, that's enough from me on finding examples of "of a". The rest is silence. Maybe.

Re: of a  •  March 14, 2012, 11:46am  •  0 vote

Accusations of petty snobbery ...! I see one hell (or American: heck) of a quarrel developing here, or am I just being hopeful?

Re: There was/were a pen and three pencils...  •  February 27, 2012, 3:23pm  •  0 vote

BrockawayBaby (brilliant name - not on so brilliant with singular/plural which is his case in this argument) offers this: Sarcasm will get you nowhere. There is several examples of sound helping

Re: He was sat  •  February 27, 2012, 1:20pm  •  0 vote

Thank you. I could perhaps have written " who could attempt to refute the case of someone who makes statements without offering any argument to back them up? ". Perhaps "the Oracle has spoken

Re: He was sat  •  February 25, 2012, 6:58am  •  0 vote

Hamish, I would like to congratulate you on the impeccable reasoning you offer for your two statements, but I cannot. Not because it is peccable, but because it is imperceptible. You have supplied non

Re: He was sat  •  February 25, 2012, 6:58am  •  3 votes

Hamish, I would like to congratulate you on the impeccable reasoning you offer for your two statements, but I cannot. Not because it is peccable, but because it is imperceptible. You have supplied non

Re: He was sat  •  February 22, 2012, 8:37am  •  1 vote

If you reckon the BBC doesn't use Standard English then you must acknowledge that there is a Standard English. I cannot vouch for US, Canadian, Australian newsreaders, but in India I have seen and hea

Re: He was sat  •  February 21, 2012, 9:24am  •  3 votes

Try watching or preferably listening to the BBC. They do it. The newsreaders get muddled with singular/plural, and saying "that" when they mean "who/whom/which" but otherwise are fairly good at it. In

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  February 17, 2012, 4:00pm  •  3 votes

I am really pleased to catch on to your much earlier correspondence on "sneak" and "snuck". As emigres returned Scotsmen, regularly visiting the ancestors in the Highlands, we amuse each other there o

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  February 17, 2012, 3:39pm  •  0 vote

Synesis may not bother you too much, but I sure am pleased to learn that in America you edit it out when it isn't wanted. I have not lost that many nights' sleep over it either, but I make it a point

Re: He was sat  •  February 17, 2012, 11:21am  •  4 votes

Good points, Goofy. I agree with much of what you say. Your second point: that we learn our language from our peers - yes, and we keep it up as we move about the world, picking up local accents and id

Re: He was sat  •  February 17, 2012, 10:02am  •  8 votes

Right enough, Derek, I agree wholly with what you say. I reckon that all three arguments above can be summed up by: the job of the teacher (in one part only, among many, many others) is to demonstrate

Re: He was sat  •  February 17, 2012, 7:58am  •  13 votes

Because it is incorrect: it is dialect, not Standard English. "Sat" is the past tense: "he sat" or past participle: "he was sat (upon) by (someone). The imperfect tense is "he was sitting/seated". Y

Re: He was sat  •  February 17, 2012, 3:35am  •  7 votes

Yes Goofy, I know. Or as I call it, dialect, as opposed to Standard English. That is what I am grumbling about. It is fine when it is acknowledged that the speaker is talking in dialect, but in my vie

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  February 16, 2012, 5:19pm  •  1 vote

DAWood is right to talk about the terrible quality of English being used in Britain today. Errors involving number just for one: for example as you say, "the government are..." The telephone will t

Re: Pled versus pleaded  •  February 16, 2012, 4:58pm  •  1 vote

"How do you plead?" - "He pleaded not guilty". Correct English. "I sentence you to be taken ...and hanged by the neck ..." Not pled, not hung. English law court language. Pictures are hung, convicte

Re: Floorings?  •  February 16, 2012, 4:44pm  •  1 vote

In Scotland (and possibly England) it would be understood if someone were to say "well, her comment completely floored me" which I suppose means rendered me unconscious so that I fell senseless to the

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  February 16, 2012, 4:32pm  •  1 vote

Yes AnWulf, but the man in the pet shop didn't know that because you were not there to tell him.

Re: He was sat  •  February 16, 2012, 4:23pm  •  8 votes

Euro English? I do not think there is such a thing. "He was sitting" imperfect active. "Stay sitting" imperative 'stay' + adjective "sitting" or "seated". "Sat" is either active perfect "the cat sat o

Re: Hi all vs. Hi everybody  •  February 15, 2012, 12:56pm  •  0 vote

And what is wrong with the good old South African greeting "Howzitt, you ous?!" which can be analysed as a contraction of "how is it, you, and 'ous' pronounced "oze", the plural of 'ou' which means 'o

Re: Computer mouses or computer mice?  •  February 15, 2012, 12:33pm  •  0 vote

mouse - mice. computer mouse - computer mice. goose - geese. mongoose - ? Did you hear about the man who wanted two, and didn't know what to ask for at the pet shop? He thought about it, worked it

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  February 15, 2012, 9:41am  •  0 vote

Derek says that in the US the expression "the loo" is considered less refined and ladylike than "the shitter" or "the crapper"? What does this tell us about American ladies, or should I say 'dames'?

Re: On Tomorrow  •  February 9, 2012, 3:15am  •  0 vote

OED is describing an ugly use of the word "source" because it has accepted that it is in common currency. The examples you give are exactly what I mean. Each type of coffee is/comes from one countr

Re: On Tomorrow  •  February 8, 2012, 4:02pm  •  0 vote

Shaune has my total agreement: it is refreshing to read that I am not alone in wanting to strike people who commit such atrocities upon the English language as to use "action" as a verb. For years I h

Re: On Tomorrow  •  February 8, 2012, 4:02pm  •  0 vote

Shaune has my total agreement: it is refreshing to read that I am not alone in wanting to strike people who commit such atrocities upon the English language as to use "action" as a verb. For years I h

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  February 8, 2012, 3:32pm  •  0 vote

At the school in Scotland I attended as a youth, one large, 19th C set of gentlemen's facilities there was known officially as "The House of Lords". But this name was just for that particular place,

Re: On Tomorrow  •  February 8, 2012, 3:05pm  •  1 vote

"We will have a staff meeting tomorrow" is just as bad a thing to hear as "We will have a staff meeting on tomorrow". Firstly, it should be "We shall have ..." and secondly, who would want to go a sta

Re: Green eyes  •  February 2, 2012, 2:26am  •  0 vote

Shakespeare's Othello: "Beware the green-ey'd monster, Jealousy". Shame about having green eyes, which you share with this monster, when you are not jealous too. Brus

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 16, 2011, 7:12pm  •  0 vote

Valentina, you hit the nail on the head. The politicians speak incorrect English even when they do know the difference, in order to seem demotic, and thereby not lose the votes of those who might t

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 13, 2011, 4:52am  •  0 vote

Who wrote this nonsense in the American Heritage Book of English Usage you quote? It is made up as he goes along by the writer, I suggest. It is obvious that "if I was" is incorrect English, and is wh

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  November 9, 2011, 12:56am  •  0 vote

Valentina raises interesting questions. Is the preference for 'informal' speech in any way motivated by a desire to be 'American', or to avoid being accused of pedantry? Not American, I think: Frasier

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  November 7, 2011, 7:32pm  •  0 vote

If you prefer "This is her" instead, "her" is being used disjunctively, as in French "C'est moi", infinitely preferable to "C'est je". Okay?

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  November 7, 2011, 7:18am  •  0 vote

Does 'who' refer to "it" or to "you"? It is, you are. You are so right! Actually, I like 'It is you who are wrong.' Are we being awfully pedantic here?

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  November 5, 2011, 7:58pm  •  0 vote

Perhaps it is useful to ask how the word "that" translates into French: if as I insist it means "who" it is "qui" so if it is "qui" it is "who". "That" has another meaning entirely, translating as "qu

Re: Idea Vs. Ideal  •  November 1, 2011, 6:15pm  •  1 vote

Maybe that is why he is a Pastor.

Re: Two Weeks Notice  •  October 28, 2011, 8:37pm  •  0 vote

Notice of two weeks = two weeks' notice. The apostrophe is there to indicate possession = of, as wendy says.

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 20, 2011, 7:47pm  •  1 vote

No, someone has purloined my identity. The last three messages are not from me, and are also very silly. If the purpose of this operation is to help people including those for whom English is a sec

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 18, 2011, 2:37am  •  0 vote

It is I who am ...; it is you who are ....; It is he who is ...

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 18, 2011, 2:37am  •  0 vote

It is I who am ...; it is you who are ....; It is he who is ...

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 18, 2011, 2:31am  •  0 vote

It is I who work. = I work. Who relates to I.

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  October 11, 2011, 2:08am  •  0 vote

Yes Anwulf I enjoy German, love it, performed with distinction in it at school, also its poor relation Afrikaans, which too is akin to your beloved Anglo-Saxon. I think you are still regretting that

Re: Signage  •  October 10, 2011, 5:23pm  •  0 vote

Anwulf "Under urgency!" Horror! Where do they get these phrases? Actually, probably out of the same box the UK police and public medical services got theirs. I heard one saying on television recent

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  October 10, 2011, 4:56pm  •  1 vote

Anwulf you say you do not know what Latin has had to offer the English language: I reply that half its vocabulary might be the first consideration, and the one which lasts in memories of those who ha

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 10, 2011, 12:10pm  •  0 vote

"C'est moi", rather than "C'est je." The grammatical explanation is that "moi" is used here disjunctively, as "ce" is the subject, so "je" is the complement rather than the subject. "Me" and "us" ar

Re: Prepositions at the end of a clause  •  October 10, 2011, 11:40am  •  0 vote

Anwulf makes a great virtue about the Anglo-Saxon contribution to the English language, which adds great richness to its variety, complexity and therefore difficulty, and allows each us a wide range o

Re: It is you who are/is ...  •  October 10, 2011, 11:13am  •  2 votes

It is, you are, who is, who are. "It is" singular because 'is' relates to the subject "it". It is you who are...: "you who are" is correct because 'are' relates to the subject "who" which is the subje

Re: Signage  •  October 10, 2011, 10:49am  •  0 vote

The indiscriminate use in New Zealand of "signage" to mean sign or signpost means not that it must be fine because they do it, rather that the poor people of that benighted land have been inveigled, b

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 9:56am  •  0 vote

Have now done so. Cracking good read! I suggest that you use it as your "bible" for US English.

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 7:27am  •  1 vote

Merriam–Webster's Dictionary of English Usage is a usage dictionary published by Merriam-Webster, Inc., of Springfield, Massachusetts. It is currently available in a reprint edition (1994), I gather.

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 2:56am  •  0 vote

'If I was a cad' allows the possibility that maybe I was indeed a cad. In that case, if 'I would apologise' is subjunctive, because conditional, it suggests that I would but I am not going to, because

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 6, 2011, 2:46am  •  0 vote

Goofy English usage and correct (as you say, formal) English are not the same thing. I started my correspondence with this website suspecting that many misuses of correct English by the British come

Re: “think of” vs. “think to”  •  October 5, 2011, 3:10am  •  0 vote

To think to act, meaning thinking of acting, wondering whether to act ... To think to act soon, or maybe to put it on hold. Birmingham is indeed a beautiful city, when viewed with one's eyes shu

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 5, 2011, 3:02am  •  0 vote

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were” Perfect pedant: If I was an ass I am sorry. If I were you I would give up. "If I was.." refers to fact, or possible fact. "If I were..." refers to impossible (closed)

Re: Idea Vs. Ideal  •  October 1, 2011, 6:25pm  •  0 vote

Nan, really enjoyed the one about getting one's drawers in a wad about it. In England it is "getting your knickers in a twist", by the way, but I like your phrase better. Yes, I know all about t

Re: Green eyes  •  October 1, 2011, 5:34pm  •  0 vote

Othello: Iago: Desdemona: "beware the green-eyed monster, jealousy!"

Re: Just because..., (it) doesn’t mean...  •  October 1, 2011, 5:20pm  •  0 vote

The "it" nicely summarises the first clause to act as a concise subject of "doesn't mean", otherwise if you leave it out (your second sentence) there is a long (seven word) clause to act as subject. "

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 1, 2011, 5:03pm  •  0 vote

"If I was a hopeless cad, I would apologize." This means that there is a possibility, which I am not yet quite prepared to admit, that I was a perfect cad sometime in the past. I would apologise, but

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 1, 2011, 4:51pm  •  1 vote

"If I was the Prime Minister, I would change the law." This to me suggests that I am surprised and doubtful to hear that I was sometime in the past the Prime Minister, find it hard perhaps to believe

Re: “think of” vs. “think to”  •  October 1, 2011, 4:30pm  •  0 vote

'Think to ..." is wrong, no doubt about it. It is dialect, not standard English. As an English resident for some decades I have not even heard it used. They do have some strange variations on standard

Re: O’clock  •  October 1, 2011, 4:11pm  •  1 vote

Enjoyed greatly the notion that "o'clock" is from the German. "acht Uhr" means "eight o'clock". Moved into English in stages, see the movie "Casablanca" with Humph and Lauren. Some elderly German emig

Re: Idea Vs. Ideal  •  October 1, 2011, 3:37pm  •  0 vote

Thank you all for giving me the best laughs for years, reading your stuff on all this. I see the Civil War is still being fought on the linguistic front in the good old US of A. On the other side of

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  October 1, 2011, 5:01am  •  1 vote

If I was ... I would ... has one indicative verb (was: factual, perhaps) and one subjunctive (were: non-factual, I shall not apologise...) so the simple rule of sequence of tenses: both clauses need t

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 28, 2011, 3:55pm  •  5 votes

Good one, "I wish I were .....". Now, why is it "I thought I was ...." but "I wish I were ...". One is for fact, the other for non-fact. (Or "counterfactual" to cite a contributor.)+ Students of Engl

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 28, 2011, 3:19pm  •  6 votes

Good one, "I wish I were .....". Now, why is it "I thought I was ...." but "I wish I were ...". One is for fact, the other for non-fact. (Or "counterfactual" to cite a contributor.)+ Students of Engl

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 28, 2011, 3:19pm  •  0 vote

Good one, "I wish I were .....". Now, why is it "I thought I was ...." but "I wish I were ...". One is for fact, the other for non-fact. (Or "counterfactual" to cite a contributor.)+ Students of Engl

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 27, 2011, 4:37am  •  5 votes

OK, I found idiolect on Google dictionary, and its definition shows that "my idiolect" means that you personally choose to say "If I was ..." for 'counterfactual'. That does not mean you should. I

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 27, 2011, 2:28am  •  0 vote

Who for people, which for things. When the relative pronoun wh~~ is the subject of its own clause, who/which. When it is the object, whom/which. 'The man who left his door unlocked was burgled'. 'The

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 27, 2011, 2:28am  •  0 vote

Who for people, which for things. When the relative pronoun wh~~ is the subject of its own clause, who/which. When it is the object, whom/which. 'The man who left his door unlocked was burgled'. 'The

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 26, 2011, 2:39pm  •  2 votes

I do not know which writers have been using 'was' and 'were' interchangeable (sic) for all those 300 years, but I like your neologism "ideolect", which my dictionary, like me, is too old to include. S

Re: “If I was” vs. “If I were”  •  September 26, 2011, 4:29am  •  8 votes

I don't think it needs an education in a decent UK school, just a decent school - German and Danish friends do not get this wrong when speaking in English, because they have been taught the English ve

Re: “for long”  •  September 25, 2011, 12:44pm  •  0 vote

A nice question but there are other words which have to have negative connotations: could you be mayed if you saw something gusting? Or dismayed/disgusting?

Re: Two Weeks Notice  •  September 25, 2011, 12:32pm  •  0 vote

If "notice of two weeks" is an alternative, then "two weeks' notice" with an apostrophe is correct. Genitive case.

Re: “My writing books” or “Me writing books”?  •  September 25, 2011, 12:01pm  •  0 vote

Hey, goofy, a gerund IS a noun, that is why it is a gerund and not the verb it looks like and came from. it has verbal qualities, but it is still a noun, so "My writing is improving" is correct.

Re: “My writing books” or “Me writing books”?  •  September 25, 2011, 11:58am  •  0 vote

Why must we add the word "the"? What does this lend to make the sentence better? It makes it a nonsense, surely?

Re: “My writing books” or “Me writing books”?  •  September 25, 2011, 11:54am  •  0 vote

They do not appreciate my singing the national anthem. *They do not appreciate my assistance the national anthem. What's the difference? You can sing something, like a song (object, so transitive ver

Re: Specifying time duration without “for”  •  September 25, 2011, 11:46am  •  0 vote

Perhaps it would help to think about whether it is the running or the time it took which is what you want to accentuate. "He ran for 12.2 seconds in the 100m" emphasises that it was the 100m which mat

Re: Specifying time duration without “for”  •  September 25, 2011, 11:46am  •  0 vote

Perhaps it would help to think about whether it is the running or the time it took which is what you want to accentuate. "He ran for 12.2 seconds in the 100m" emphasises that it was the 100m which mat

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 25, 2011, 4:40am  •  1 vote

To clarify : In other words, people use "that" in the first sentence - "the old lady that I had helped.." but know better and use a "wh~~" word (a relative pronoun, to be exact) in the second sentence

Re: What happened to who, whom and whose?  •  September 25, 2011, 4:40am  •  0 vote

To clarify : In other words, people use "that" in the first sentence - "the old lady that I had helped.." but know better and use a "wh~~" word (a relative pronoun, to be exact) in the second sentence

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